News for January 2010
Now You See It, Now You Don't 11
The crafty and nimble-fingered Magician joins Cosmic Encounter!
Cosmic Encounter | Published 11 January 2010

We've almost arrived at our final destination in this tour of some of the wondrous and strange creatures found in Cosmic Incursion, the upcoming boxed set expansion for Cosmic Encounter. Today's preview begins with a warning to keep your eyes on your prized possessions and anything else of value, for we're about to meet the Magician.

The tricky Magician is a never-before-seen alien designed by the unfailingly clever Bruno Faidutti, creator of Ad Astra and Letter of Marque. Let's look at what this alien brings to the table, and mind your pockets - he moves quickly!

The Magician has the power of Prestidigitation, the skillful slight of hand utilized by magicians from time immemorial. Using a combination of dexterity, misdirection, and psychology, an accomplished practitioner of the art of prestidigitation can make objects appear and disappear, at will.

Here's the background information about these masters of manipulation:

Lacking any natural weapons with which to defend themselves, the Magicians had to use their keen intellect to survive. Confusing and confounding their enemies became second nature to the wily Magicians. Indeed, many a would-be Cosmic conqueror has found occasion to curse the day that the Magicians swindled a visiting alien out of his spaceship and soared into the Cosmos.

During the Planning phase the Magician may force his opponent to play two encounter cards from hand face down on the table, instead of one. The Magician then selects one of these cards at random, and adds it to his hand.

The remaining card stays face down on the table and becomes the opponent's card for that encounter. As the Magician, you now choose and play an encounter card as normal.

The Magician's Card. Click to Enlarge.

Opponents of the Magician must think carefully, weighing their options as you make their play. Do you push your luck and play one high and one low card, hoping the Magician draws the lesser card? Do you play two strong cards in an attempt to have a chance either way? Who's bluffing who? Find out when the Magician colonizes your galaxy in Cosmic Incursion, now shipping to distributors!

And be sure to check out the rulesheet for Cosmic Incursion (pdf, 488 KB) on our support page.

Cosmic Encounter is a classic board game for three to five players where fate and destiny collide against the unpredictable nature of the cosmos. With innumerable combinations of alien powers, and exceptional wheeling and dealing between players, this fan favorite game of galactic conquest is brimming with outlandish twists as players race to be the first to establish enough colonies to win. 

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Comments (11)

Published: 1/12/2010 6:37:45 PM

@ Hugesinker: Empath is not a subset of Pacifist. Pacifist may be a little stronger overall, but both powers have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Empath, for instance, can quite easily (and repeatedly) force a deal situation (which can often lead to gaining a foreign colony, even while on defense) — neither Pacifist nor any other official alien power can reliably force that to happen. Empath also isn't forced to give his defensive allies rewards every time he negotiates, but Pacifist is. Just a couple of examples.

Published: 1/12/2010 6:25:48 PM

The Magician/Oracle conflict is really just a little bit of timing ambiguity caused by each power wanting the other one to choose their card(s) first. One way to resolve it to pretend there's a middle paragraph on Magician that says this:

If another effect requires you to play your card first (e.g., Oracle), after taking a card
from your opponent you may exchange it with the card you played, if you wish.

This allows both powers to still do something potentially beneficial during the encounter.

Published: 1/12/2010 3:55:59 PM

Looks good.  Since the powers are in conflict, I would play the Oracle versus Magician by only using the power of the attacking player.  I liked the Lazer, and the Magician power does not eclipse it.

However, the Pacifist power does eclipse the Empath.  I see no reason to bring back the Empath.

Published: 1/12/2010 3:34:48 PM



Laser allowed the player to randomly draw a card from his opponent's hand and if it was an encounter card it went down, otherwise the player drew a new card.

Published: 1/12/2010 3:14:42 PM

I understand the timing conflict here if you are going by a strict rules interpretation, but why can't you use the Oracle?

Published: 1/12/2010 10:44:07 AM

What I don't like is the first sentence of this news item... "We've almost arrived at our final destination in this tour of the wondrous and strange creatures..." ah!  I was hoping for a couple of more previews for some of the classic aliens!  I want to know: did Empath make it in?  Did Prophet somehow make it in?  We need to know!

Published: 1/12/2010 4:14:26 AM

Er, and they seem to say it is Faidutti's work, that one...

Published: 1/12/2010 4:12:56 AM

I love CE. I Love Kevin Wilson. I love FFG !


But tell me guys, I don't know this story about KW hating the previous appearance of that power ? And how was it different ? can you tell me all about that topic ? thanks !

Published: 1/12/2010 12:07:06 AM

Agree... this is a much much much better way to do Laser.  Kudos.

Published: 1/11/2010 6:21:37 PM

So this is Kevin Wilson's answer and replacement for his hate for Laser.


I officially accept.

Published: 1/11/2010 5:30:14 PM

 Whooboy... this guy with the Sorcerer... things get silly! :P

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